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World's First

Audi is offering the option of a factory-installed WLAN hotspot on its new A8. The system will enable front and rear seat passengers to tap into Internet access at up to 7.2 Mbit/s by dropping a data-capable SIM card into the car's Bluetooth phone or by pairing your existing phone. Read More
A research team, led by Craig Venter of America’s J. Craig Venter Institute, has produced the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome. The team had previously synthesized a bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome from one bacteria to another, but this is the first time they have combined the two techniques to create what they call a “synthetic cell” - although only its genome is actually synthetic. They now hope to be able to explore the machinery of life, and to engineer bacteria designed for specific purposes. Read More
The latest in our series of early technologies from Michael Bennett-Levy’s collection looks at the world’s first commercial business computer, the LEO II/3. The LEO II (short for Lyons Electronic Office) was the successor to the LEO I, which was designed by Oliver Standingford and Raymond Thompson of J. Lyons and Co. – one of the UK’s leading catering and food manufacturing companies in the first half of the 20th century. Read More
In one of the more bizarre media announcements of recent times, News International's LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) British Tabloid The Sun is to publish a 3D edition on June 5 complete with 3D glasses, 3D editorial images, 3D adverts and a 3D Soccer World Cup schedule Wall Chart. It's yet another newspaper first for the Murdoch empire (along with recalibrating public morals by widely distributing images of bare-breasted women), though we suspect the motivation is more related to Murdoch's Sky Sports broadcasting the World Cup in 3D than by any forlorn hope of innovating a reversal of the Sun's circulation which has been in decline for 15 years. Read More
The rare appearance of an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller on the auction block on April 25 caused considerable excitement across the world in the preceding months. Gizmag covered the history and heritage of the machine in great detail prior to the auction and we're not surprised that a far-from-pristine example of the world's first production motorcycle should fetch an above-estimate GBP86,200. Read More
The last thing the world needs right now is more discarded food packaging, which is why it’s good to hear that Frito-Lay is about to introduce a 100% compostable bag for their SunChips snacks in the US and Canada. Made with plant-based polylactic acid, the new bags will completely biodegrade within about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin. Read More
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the world's first self-powered sensors at the nanometric scale. Tiny generators embedding thousands of nanowires produce electricity whenever the wires are subjected to mechanical strain, and can be used to power microscopic sensors without the need for batteries. Read More
LG has unveiled what is the sure to be the first of many LED TVs to get the 3D treatment. The LX9500 is illuminated by panels of LEDs directly behind the screen for local dimming, with the 55-inch model alone boasting 1,200 of the semiconductor light sources. The LEDs help the TV achieve a 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio while sporting an ultra-thin 22.3mm (less than 1 inch) deep body with a stylish 16mm super-narrow bezel. Read More
Most small watercraft need anchors just like bigger boats, but many down-sized anchors struggle to hold these vessels in place, even breaking apart. If you ride a personal watercraft (PWC), like a Jet Ski, stowing a metal or aluminum anchor in the craft’s onboard storage containers can wreak havoc, sometimes almost punching through in rough conditions. That’s no good aboard an inflatable, either. Australian-based Cooper Anchors has designed a world-first lightweight, plastic anchor with a weighted tip, straight streamline shank and small blade that work harmoniously to drive deep into the sea bed and hold your craft in place. What’s more, it’s flexible, tough, won’t scratch or puncture your PWC or inflatable and weighs less than 1kg. Read More
Putting aside jet packs, the other science fiction dream to perpetually elude us is the flying car. Gizmag is littered with stories on flying car inventions and yet my Toyota Camry is mournfully clipped, fused to the road while my dreams of zooming to work in the 21st century remain unrealized. But this is not a story about a new-fangled invention, this is a story about the pioneering forerunner to these zippy young upstarts; the ancient grandfather of flying automobiles, Frank Skroback's Flying Car, which recently went to auction in Atlanta, Georgia. Read More
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